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Is it the song that’s good or is it the production?

This blog post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam, episode 249. Is it the song that’s good or is it the production?

(video: and podcast: )

This post piggybacks on “What’s a great song” episode (Gab & Jam, ep 175: ) The songwriting gurus tell us to “start with a ‘great’ song,” but in this episode, we’re going to push back on that notion.

#goodsong #goodproduction #diyrockstar #prejippie #bloomingprejippie


Here are some ideas to consider when deciding if it’s a good song or if it’s “good” production:

1. We are told...

We are told to always to that start with a great song, but I think it’s easier to polish a turd than to overcome bad production on a great song. For instance, if the song, “I Will Always Love You” was out of key and out of timing, it would be hard to appreciate. Therefore, part of what makes the song “great” is its production values—which includes an amazing performance by Whitney Houston. Not only was it re-released to a pop audience—instead of the original country market—but it is done so with a movie that turns out to be a hit, so this time around, the same song is a “hit” with everyone.

So what we’re saying is that a “good” production includes the instrumental and vocal sounds chosen, as well as the performance and, possibly, the arrangement of the song, and also—sometimes—who is brought in to produce the record. –It’s fair to say that you would NOT call Quincy Jones—or replace his name with any “hit-making” producer—in to work on a son